: Automobile MSRP versus everything else we buy



The Tony Show
06-14-08, 04:13 PM
The concept of "haggling" is largely unacceptable in American society, save for in the Auto industry. I've tried for a long time to understand why we (the buying public) feel it is socially acceptable to haggle on a car, but pay "sticker" price for everything else we buy (clothes, food, jewelry, etc). I know I'd feel like a world class douche if I walked up to the cashier at Publix and told her I wasn't paying "sticker" for the bread, and to tell the Manager I offer .20c less. The same goes for my clothes- they'd probably call Security if I told the cashier that "only suckers pay sticker", and I'll give them half.

This holds true for not only 90% of the consumer goods we buy, but also when it comes to selling our own cars. Most of us will balk if a Dealer offers us any less than suggested trade value, so why is then that we have the idea that only a fool would pay suggested retail value for an automobile?

Discuss.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
06-14-08, 04:16 PM
I'm not sure why either, but I know in the housing market, haggling is not only expected, it's rarely done without. But boy do I hate it when customers come in and try and haggle prices on their service work, or get something for free. It's not something I see a lot, but the middle-easterners love to do it, but it's part of their native culture, so I'm not really surprised.

The Tony Show
06-14-08, 04:22 PM
I forgot to include the housing market in my initial post, but even that is different. As a buyer, I make the seller an offer. In the car business, the buyer plops down in front of the desk and says "So how much are you going to discount it?"

Try that with a home seller- they'd tell you to get bent.

urbanski
06-14-08, 04:49 PM
cash talks.
walk into circuit city, or conns or your favorite furniture store...jeweler...of course even craiglist with cash.
count out the Franklins and make your offer. $1000 list for that TV? here's $750 cash (count it out right there).
That 8K rolex? here's 7 large cash.
Do it, it works. Haggling is alive and well....but not when you do the "12 months same as cash" bondage bullshit.
No, it wont work at the grocery store :p
but for larger items try it.

Mplsspyder
06-14-08, 04:54 PM
I'm with you Tony. I have been saying the same thing to people I know for years. Most places would never stand for it but it is normal practice in for autos. It wasn't always that way though. Not sure when it started becoming that way. Worked with a guy who had been selling Cadillac's since the 50's. Said it wasn't like that back then. He also said that when he started selling Cadillac's he was on the same economic level as his customers, not so true anymore for most.

dkozloski
06-14-08, 04:58 PM
I haggled with Lowe's when I bought appliances for my kitchen remodel. I got the shipping paid even on special order items, 10% off the total even for previously discounted items, free delivery, and rebates in the form of Lowe's gift cards to the tune of an additional $500. When you come in the door waving fistfulls of $100 bills they pay attention and follow your hands like a dog does a treat. Of course I was buying highend stuff that gave them more wiggleroom. The fridge was over $5700, the range over $2000, and the dishwasher over $1200 retail. I paid $7100 total.

Jesda
06-14-08, 05:31 PM
I haggle on automotive services all the time. If I'm a repeat customer, I'll ask for small discounts like a couple quarts of fluid or a free set of wipers. Little discounts make me want to come back.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
06-14-08, 05:48 PM
Well there's good customer service on the part of the service department, and then there's first time customers trying to take us for a ride. Jesda is the former, not the latter. Shit, I don't mind giving nice discounts to repeat customers and friends/family, but to do it to anyone or everyone? **** no.

Sandy
06-14-08, 06:00 PM
I sold cars for 27 years. I HATE haggling ! What the buyers do not understand is that in order to make a sale, they have to feel that they've won, so we "let them win" ~ In reality, the more they "win" actually is really the more they lose.
I retired from it all, as I could not make even a1/2 decent living.

The buyer wants to buy at $200 over DEALER'S INVOICE. Here's how sales personal get paid. About $ 100 @ week salary. The rest commission. This is how the commission worked: The 1st $100 of profit you did not get paid on. After that you made 20 % of the profit. So..... on selling a car & making a gross profit of, say $ 400.00 - minus the $ 100.00 you don;'t make anything on, leaves $ 300.00 Twenty percent of that equals $60.00 (gross) for selling a ....what.... $ 30,000.00 car ?!?!? WTF is that ?

It's a siht business, top to bottom. The MOB is heavily into it, as it's a fab place to park the Billion$$$, the people, for the most part that run the dealerships are creeps. Basically the only really decent souls there ARE the salesmen, who get ordered around by the management like slaves, and have to argue with almost every customer.

When a person gave me an exceptionally hard time, was demeaning to me, fresh to me or the like, I got them back, so baaad - it actually hurt me.
We had to make up a folder, Manila Folder, with their info, and their car's info, etc etc & supply it to the Service manager, who then filed it, awaiting the customer's expected forthcoming visits. I placed a red star sticker on the top corner of the folder. This told the Service Mgr. that the people are super chislers over $$$ and will argue every penny. So..... the Service manager would see this and he'd add 65 percent to their bill.

Believe me....they paid it. So, if you treat me like CRAP, you're gonna pay in the BACK !

You pay the price once. You live with the dealer for years. Smart money goes to a long standing, old family owned and run, dealership, that is NOT ON THE HIGHWAY = BUT "IN TOWN".
Act the way you act in your Doctor's Office with courtesy & respect & youi'll get the same back, tri-fold.

Car salesmen do it every day. You buy once in 4 years. You CANNOT win.
But, you can do well, if you act as you do in a high class furniture store, make a reasonable offer and indicate that you'll buy TODAY - if they meet your offer. (Otherwise you will NOT get the best price, as owners think that all ya gonna do is get my best offer and then go shop it at 8 other dealers! Bitch of business. I AGREE. Ya learn fast to really hate people.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
06-14-08, 07:08 PM
When a person gave me an exceptionally hard time, was demeaning to me, fresh to me or the like, I got them back, so baaad - it actually hurt me.
We had to make up a folder, Manila Folder, with their info, and their car's info, etc etc & supply it to the Service manager, who then filed it, awaiting the customer's expected forthcoming visits. I placed a red star sticker on the top corner of the folder. This told the Service Mgr. that the people are super chislers over $$$ and will argue every penny. So..... the Service manager would see this and he'd add 65 percent to their bill.

Hahahaha! I LOVE this idea! Too bad we don't use paperwork like we used to, but now we can leave notes on the customer's files in the computer system so the sales, parts and service department can see it all.



Bitch of business. I AGREE. Ya learn fast to really hate people.

Totally. People can be at their worst when they're faced with a large bill, or something they know could be very expensive.

Night Wolf
06-14-08, 07:43 PM
I agree, kinda why I like Saturns no haggle-prices.

I dunno, maybe because cars are so darn expensive, people want to feel like they are getting a "deal" when they just financed $30,000 on something that looses value faster then you can pay it off.

Really tho, I think it's for dealer profit... I remember reading a few articals about it, if there is a car with a $30k MSRP and person 1 haggles them down to $26k, dealer still makes a profit, they are happy they got the sale and person is happy they haggled... then person 2 comes in for the same exact car but is only able to haggle down to $28k, but still feel they have a deal, then that person drives out thinking, man, I just got this car for $2k less then sticker, but the dealer is happy cause they just made an extra $2k ontop of what they made from the first sale...

It's a shady business... I have no reason to go to the dealer, in fact the various times I have gone to Cadillac/Ford/Lincoln, with the exception of the salespeople who were eager to have me "take a look at the cars" the overall way people treat you isn't all that good.... maybe cause I wasn't in there to spend $30k on a car.

Really tho, I get my parts at Advance, if I want something they don't have or a different brand, then online like rockauto.com or something.... Only for specialty OEM items I will go to the dealer... for the Town Car that was an OEM heater core ($70), Blend Door Actuator ($70), OSS sensor for the trans ($25) and 2 original jewel-style keys, just to have ($10ea).... oh then I took it in for the cruise control recall.

I remember going to the Cadillac dealer in NY once for touch up paint on the '93, that was it.... other then that, no reason to go to a dealer, I am my own service shop for things with the cars..... tires/alignments I'll go to Tires Plus, not the best place, but they are popular around here, good prices, and for $120 lifetime warantee, even after replacing steering/suspension parts or an accident/rebuild is pretty darn good. Only thing I can think of that I would need to take a car somewhere would be an automatic transmission rebuild, as that is not something I think I'd want to try, but even then, I'd do my research and find a local private owned shop, or just purchase a factory reman trans.

I buy my cars used, when they are older, pay next to nothing compared to what it cost new, I do all my own work on my cars..... dealers don't make any money off me :)

As for haggling tho, yeah cars are the only new thing people haggle on, tho I hear stories of people going to Best Buy and buying a new home theater system and haggling to get free cables and stuff.... but when dealing with used or private sales cars or not, haggling seems to be fairly common.

Night Wolf
06-14-08, 07:47 PM
just a quick google search returned some of the same that I remember reading in the past...

http://www.antiquecar.com/feature_why_haggle.php

just do similar searches... then I remember reading this, which is a really good read...

http://www.edmunds.com/advice/buying/articles/42962/article.html

Florian
06-14-08, 08:30 PM
the problem is the mfgrs themselves. They bring it onto themselves by offering discounts/rebates/etc. 1500 bux off this month, 3000 cash back next month. It tells you that there is wiggle room. I usually just tell my dealer what I want and how much Im willing to pay and we make the deal....no fooking around, no BS, just "heres what i think its worth....can we make a deal?" Ive yet to not buy what I wanted when I wanted it for the price I thought was fair.

F

dkozloski
06-14-08, 08:41 PM
Back in the day, everybody knew that the dealer made 20% on the base price and 40% on the options, most of which could be dealer installed. It was simpler all the way around.

dkozloski
06-14-08, 08:50 PM
Hahahaha! I LOVE this idea! Too bad we don't use paperwork like we used to, but now we can leave notes on the customer's files in the computer system so the sales, parts and service department can see it all.



Totally. People can be at their worst when they're faced with a large bill, or something they know could be very expensive.
My experience in the aircraft engine racket taught me that the unhappiest customers were those that didn't have the money to pay the bill and were embarrassed to have to admit it. I tried to make the estimates high so I could "surprise" the customer with a bill that came in below the estimate and ahead of schedule. It also gave me a chance to "stroke" the customer a little bit by telling him that the bill was lower than expected because of the way he managed his machine. In most cases it was true because we did the best work available for a thousand miles or more but at a price, and that is what the customer was looking for. The cheapskates looking for bargain work on their clunker went elsewhere.

Jesda
06-14-08, 09:00 PM
I agree Rick. I like the attitudes of the sales people at Saturn lots. They're open about whats selling or whats sitting, and they're clear about what the price is and what discounts are available. They treat you kindly and answer your questions. Makes me want to come back and buy a car.

Makes me want a Saturn Sky.

dirt_cheap_fleetwood
06-14-08, 09:44 PM
I doubt I will ever buy from a dealer. They jack the prices up on used cars (all I can afford now) and basically screw you over. We (me and a few of my friends) went to a Chevy dealer that had a 1998 Camaro SS. It had 126,000 miles, was in OK condition, but they wanted $9800 for it! It didn't have a catalytic converter, so it was illegal for them to be selling it anyway. A lot of the interior was badly worn and parts like radio knobs were missing. We talked them down to $4900 without even showing them any cash. We left and called the cops on their asses because we have previously had bad experiences with their service department.

Why can't anyone take a teenager seriously anymore? I went to the Cadillac dealer in Naperville to get some parts for my '88 that were dealer parts only. The service manager treated me like a jerk. I wrote a letter to GM and they sent me a reply that they would be looking into the matter. I went back in a few months later and he was no longer working there. Win one for me. On the other hand, I have stopped by at Heritage Caddy in Lombard on several occasions and everyone there treats me with a great deal of respect, despite my age.

In retrospect, I think that if the salesperson or seller of a car treats the customer nicely, the customer treat him nicely in return. They guy I bought the '95 from was a very nice person. I went to look at the car and at first he was a little stunned by my age, I could just tell, but his first impression was quickly removed. We had to wait for about a week and a half before our schedules lined up and I could purchase the car and during that time he lost my phone number. He went through the trouble of looking up my house number (I originally gave him my cell) to call me back. He told me everything about the car, good or bad. He was completely honest and I was impressed by that. When I got the car the AC didn't work and he gave me the number of a buddy of his that would replace the compressor for only $100. The day I got the car the clutch completely shattered and was making some serious noises. He actually called back about 3 days after I bought the car to check up on it and make sure it was going alright. He even offered to pay the repairs should it turn out that something else besides the AC clutch had gone wrong with the car. I wish every car deal could be like that. He was truly a great person. That is why I had no problem paying asking price for that car.

ABCF
06-14-08, 11:35 PM
Most of the time when people are buying a car they are trading theirs in.....you are not doing that when you are buying groceries or clothes.

If you are trying to get the best value for your trade why wouldn't you haggle? As for me, I know a few sales managers I deal directly with, I just ask for the best price he has on the car. If the price blows my hair back they get a sale.

Playdrv4me
06-15-08, 12:16 AM
I haggled with Lowe's when I bought appliances for my kitchen remodel. I got the shipping paid even on special order items, 10% off the total even for previously discounted items, free delivery, and rebates in the form of Lowe's gift cards to the tune of an additional $500. When you come in the door waving fistfulls of $100 bills they pay attention and follow your hands like a dog does a treat. Of course I was buying highend stuff that gave them more wiggleroom. The fridge was over $5700, the range over $2000, and the dishwasher over $1200 retail. I paid $7100 total.

I agree DK, the act of haggling on homes, automobiles and high dollar renovations is what is NORMAL, NOT haggling on everything else is what really is ABnormal, not the other way around.

Likewise, no one who is selling anything that isn't in a jam doesn't try to make the most money they can. The retail price is designed to catch the occasional dodo who was born yesterday and actually PAYS it or just plain doesn't care what anything costs.

The term "easy mark" was derived from the carnival industry because operators would rub chalk on their hands and pat the back of someone who was seen as particularly gullible. When you don't negotiate you are placing a target right on your fore-head that says "Easy Mark". No one wants this perception, so people haggle.

Other things you should never accept the first bid/listed price on? Contractors, Major plumbing work, HVAC, Open box items at Best Buy or Circuit City (always room to move on these), Medical services if you are paying out of pocket and not with insurance, Auto body repairs, Auto glass and the list goes on.

The "One Simple Price" policy has never held strong for all but ONE retailer who lets be honest, makes practically all of their business from "easy marks", and that's Carmax. However even Carmax isn't above price reductions... walk the lot on any given day and you'll see 10 or 15 units with "Last Chance" stickers stamped on the window with major reductions from the ridiculous price they originally tried to sell the car at.

We haggle on alot more things than first comes to mind.

dkozloski
06-15-08, 01:16 AM
In American commerce, most of the time the clerk behind the counter has no stake in the game. He has no ownership interest and no authorization to haggle. In foreign markets where everything is mom and pop you're dealing directly with the owner and it's more of a game than anything else.

97DevilleBeige
06-15-08, 12:29 PM
It's basically a vicious cycle. You can say the retailer will haggle to close the sale, and you can say the customer won't buy until they feel like they got a deal. It's like what came first, the chicken or the egg? Once a customer realizes that you get paid on the dirty "c" word (commission), their attitude and respect for you as an individual changes for the worse. I negotiate for a living, selling consumer electronics and major appliances. Believe me, haggling is very alive and well in the New York area. We have people that will pay more elsewhere if they know you don't get paid on commission. People try and negotiate everything, and the second we can't discount a certain item, they instantly go "well I can get this elsewhere then." And when they say that, it's not a threat, they genuinely just feel if they are not getting accomodated, they can buy it elsewhere. I've had people just flat out say "if you can't discount this, why should I buy it from you?" (certain items are price fixed by the manufacturer) All I say is "loyalty. we help you out wherever we can, just because on this one situation we can't get you a deal, you instantly turn your back on us?" Consumers are very selfish people for the majority. I know New York is the toughest market for my business in the country, and most retailers have gone out of business trying to set up shop over here. Circuit City almost went out of business as a chain when they originally expanded in the 80's here. I flat out lie and tell people I don't get paid on commission because I hate they way I'm treated when they ask. It's frankly none of their business how I earn my living. I once had a lady buying a digital camera saying "oh my gosh, you're going to make so much money off of me, I should have done my research but I didn't have time." She basically said "you are raping me, but I'll let you even thought I don't want you to." I mean WHO THE HELL SAYS THAT WHEN THEY ARE BUYING A DIGITAL CAMERA? Rant completed.